What Can Biosensors Do for Us?
Written: September 2022
Dr. Vahram Mouradian holds an M.S. in Electronics Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer Science. As a serial entrepreneur, he has created many breakthrough technologies. His latest focus is on wearable medical technology, one of the hottest areas in the industry. As founder and CEO of Sensogram Technologies, Dr. Mouradian’s vision is to enable people to take control of their own fitness and wellness using a new type of wearable technology. He is betting on Sensogram Technologies to be one of the most successful companies in this rapidly growing industry.
Based in Plano, Texas, Sensogram Technologies is a research and development company which designs, produces, and markets innovative biosensors integrated with easy-to-use mobile apps. Sensogram allows real-time and continuous monitoring of vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, oxygen saturation, and more. After many years of U.S. and International research, the company has transformed advanced medical technologies into affordable, lightweight devices suitable for everyday use.
Sensogram’s new wearable product is the SensoRING®. As the name implies, the product is a ring, available in five finger sizes. The ring can provide data through a mobile app which assesses personal activity and performance by tracking physiological parameters. The wearable device is made from medical grade plastic and is equipped with built-in biosensors, wireless connectivity, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery has a life of four hours on a full charge in continuous working mode but in scheduled working mode it can last up to 24 hours. The ring recharges in 1.5 hours.
The SensoRING monitors seven physiological parameters as follows:
- Pulse Rate. Your pulse rate, also known as your heart rate, is the number of times your heart beats per minute. A resting heart rate is normally between 60 to 100 beats per minute based on age and condition, but it can vary from minute to minute.
- Respiration Rate. The respiratory rate is the number of breaths someone takes every minute. It is an important vital sign, along with blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. When a person inhales, oxygen enters their lungs and travels to the organs. When they exhale, carbon dioxide leaves the body. A normal respiratory rate plays a critical role in keeping the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
- Oxygen Saturation (SPO2). Oxygen saturation is the fraction of oxygen-saturated hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen, relative to total hemoglobin in the blood. The human body requires and regulates a very precise and specific balance of oxygen in the blood. Normal arterial, meaning related to your arteries, and the movement of blood through your body, blood oxygen saturation levels in humans are 97–100 percent.
- Blood Pressure. High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is when your blood pressure, the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is consistently too high.
- Perfusion Index. The Perfusion Index, often abbreviated PI, is a measurement obtained from a pulse oximeter on your finger. It is calculated as the ratio of pulsatile, throbbing or beating, blood flow to the non-pulsatile blood in body tissues. Simply put, it is the ratio of pulsing blood to non-pulsing blood. This measurement can be acquired non-invasively and is a good indicator of a person’s pulse strength. Measurements generally range from 0.02% (very weak pulse) to 20% (very strong pulse). Physicians often use this measurement to gain a better understanding of the effects of a drug or treatment of a patient. It can also be used to gain insight into medicinal efficacy and track disease progression.
- Activity Index. Research has shown it’s important to get all four types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Each one has different benefits. Doing one kind also can improve your ability to do the others, and variety helps reduce boredom and risk of injury. Sensogram did not provide information on what the SensoRING activity index is and how it is calculated.
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test which can be used to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats, but the ECG can also be shown using biosensors which look beneath the skin.
Continuously monitoring seven physiological parameters and delivering accurate, credible, and understandable data to your smartphone is a tall order. You may be skeptical or at least have a lot of questions, especially if you are a doctor. I do too. Directionally, I see the SensoRING showing us the future and creating a lot of healthcare and fitness value. Will the FDA approve it? Will the measurements be accurate? There has been skepticism about accurate blood pressure readings using anything other than the traditional cuff. Is the mobile app which accompanies the ring accurate, and does it provide actionable data without causing unnecessary alarm? Many questions. I tried to reach Sensogram Technologies but had no luck.
Apple is putting a lot of money into its wearable device, the Apple Watch. It can perform an ECG, measure blood oxygen, temperature and menstrual cycle analysis, several activity measurements, cardio fitness (VO2Max), heart rate analysis, and support for a wide range of health and fitness apps. With its vast resources and commitment to this area, I would not bet against Apple as the market leader. Nevertheless, startups such as Sensogram will continue to attract venture capital and push the envelope of innovation.